State lawmakers return from their spring break today, and the Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.
House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.
A state funding shortfall is hitting some Missouri school districts harder than others.
A report released Wednesday by the Missouri Budget Project says the state is underfunding public school districts by $656 million this year. That's based on the amount called for under a 2005 law that re-wrote Missouri's school funding formula.
The report says the shortfall amounts to about $700 per student on a statewide basis. But those figures vary widely by district.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:00 pm
House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.
The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.
The Missouri House has passed a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year. It includes five million dollars for the unaccredited Normandy School District in St. Louis County, which would go broke before the end of the current school year without the money.
Students from the four universities in the UM System presented their research to legislators and spectators earlier Tuesday at the State Capitol as part of Undergraduate Research Day. The symposium featured posters of 46 students from MU, UMSL, UMKC, and Missouri S&T. Of the students presenting, 20 were MU sophomores, juniors or seniors.